Covid drove us to share a house but what are council tax implications? | Income

Q My husband or wife and I just about every have a household of our very own and even though we initially split our time in between the two, we gradually begun spending a tiny a lot more time at 1 somewhat than the other.

Through the coronavirus lockdown we selected to stay in just a person dwelling to type a bubble and we at present spend all of our time in one household, with the other remaining fairly significantly vacant other than when pals or relatives use it now and all over again.

We are apprehensive about council tax. We both equally pay back solitary occupancy on our possess properties but because of to the the latest problem we are nervous about remaining “found out” for truly obtaining two of us in a person house. If we did fork out comprehensive council tax for the property we both remain in, what are the implications for the other dwelling (including insurance policies and so forth)?
RW

A Judging by what it suggests in Paying the suitable level of council tax in England, released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Community Authorities in May perhaps 2019, you are correct to be anxious about council tax.

Less than the heading Council tax fraud, what this Simple English guidebook to council tax in England says is: “It is a felony offence to test to keep away from shelling out profits tax by giving untrue details, or by not telling them [your local authority] about any alterations that may possibly have an impact on how considerably council tax is owing.”

The advice goes on to give examples of distinctive sorts of council tax fraud, which include things like “claiming a one particular person discount when other older people are residing at the property” and “not telling the council when a low cost or other reduction should be cancelled”. So, to be on the secure facet, it would make feeling to let your council(s) know about your adjusted circumstances.

Your council will want to determine which of the two qualities counts as your “main home” for council tax applications (which isn’t necessarily the one wherever you spend the most time). And count on to be asked rather personalized issues about your associations and way of life, and requested for paperwork to confirm what you say. The kind of factors that your council will ask you about include things like: why you have two addresses what your lawful ties to just about every house are the place you preserve most of your possessions where you work and regardless of whether you intend to return to 1 address ultimately.

It isn’t a foregone summary that you’ll conclude up spending the complete amount of money of council tax on the dwelling you are dwelling in but be well prepared for that to be the outcome and also to have to spend any backdated tax. As much as council tax on the other assets goes, some councils give a 50% low cost on furnished 2nd houses but they really don’t have to.

It would also be a great plan to speak to your insurance corporation about the house that is standing vacant. Your insurance provider may possibly want to impose circumstances to your plan this sort of as earning certain the garden of the vacant property is held in good buy, the h2o is turned off or the heating kept on. There could even be a need that the residence must be checked twice a week on non-consecutive days for the protect to continue being legitimate.

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